Crisis responds to housing and homelessness announcements in the Queen’s Speech

Today, in the Queen’s speech, the Government has unveiled a raft of legislative measures for the next parliamentary year which include:

  • Legislation to make the streets safer which a Government consultation suggests will replace the Vagrancy Act and could be used to criminalise people sleeping rough.
  • Reintroducing the Renters Reform Bill which will scrap section 21 ‘no fault evictions’.
  • Regulating social housing to strengthen rights of tenants and ensure better quality social homes.

Responding to the speech Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “This Queen’s speech provides some hope for renters anxious about being turfed out of their home in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis and recognises the urgent need to address poor quality social housing with tenants’ voices at the heart of this reform.

“But let’s be clear, this speech gives with one hand while taking with the other. The plan to introduce legislation that has the potential to criminalise anyone forced to sleep rough is nothing short of shameful and flies in the face of any effort to tackle rough sleeping for good. What’s more, we need urgent action to pull struggling families back from the brink.

“We cannot end homelessness with this mismatched plan. The Government must take action to provide direct support to families hit by the cost-of-living crisis and plans to introduce punitive legislation must be scrapped, if the Government wants to truly end rough sleeping for good.”